Below is a copy of a note dated 2 February 1989 from Miss Anne Beckwith-Smith, Lady-in-Waiting to HRH The Princess
of Wales, in which she acknowledged receipt of my letter and “accompanying document” (my Eight Part Peace Proposal for Greater Jerusaelm) which I had hand-delivered the previous day to the concierge
at the Plaza Athenée Hotel where Princess Diana was staying during her visit to New York City. As I exited the
hotel that day, I was accosted in the lobby by a tall gentleman with blond hair and blue eyes who identified himself as an
official with the US Department of State. He asked me to identify myself and state the purpose of my visit, and I complied.
After making a few jottings in a small notebook he thanked me and I left the hotel.
Years later, on her final visit to New York City in 1997,
Princess Diana made a sudden and unexpected late night personal visit during which we had an approximately 20 minute conversation
about my peace proposal inside an automobile that she had parked near my residence on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Already bowled over by her magnificent gesture, I was doubly delighted to discover that she had read my peace proposal and
could speak about it and refer to it from memory!
The Princess asked me about verses 8 and
9 of Chapter 8 of the Song of Solomon, the latter of which I had inscribed onto a
map in my peace proposal: “8 We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the
day when she shall be spoken for? 9 If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door,
we will inclose her with boards of cedar.” I explained to her that the Song of
Solomon is an allegorical history and prophecy of the people of Israel, and that in these verses our little sister
refers to Islam.
And so you might say I was triply bowled over to read years later the following
passage inside her butler Paul Burrell’s book, A Royal Duty (G. P. Putnam Sons,
New York, New York, 2003 [page 282]): “In fact, to me, Dodi wasn’t even Dodi. He was called “Sister.”
That was the code name given to him by the princess so that we could refer to him openly. When the princess said, “What
do you think my sister would say?” or “Has my sister called?,” she was not referring to Lady Sarah McCorquodale
or Lady Jane Fellowes, but him.”
When the Princess and I met, I had never heard of
Dodi Fayed or his relationship with her, though all the news and speculation about them was soon to follow.